Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma 28 – Army 21 | Where Did The Offense Go?

M. Hofeld


We knew that stopping Army’s triple-option offensive attack was going to be a chore for Oklahoma but, come on, that was just ridiculous. The Black Knights dominated the time of possession, by averaging over 4 yards per carry, which essentially kept OU’s offense off the field.

The Sooners scored on their first three possessions of the game to build a 21-14 lead, but Army responded with 19 and a 17-play drives in the second half that ate up nearly 21 minutes off the clock. In all the Black Knights grinded out 339 rushing yards on an eye-popping 78 attempts. However, they made one crucial mistake that kept Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff hunt.

Possessing both the momentum and the ball, Army diverted from what had been working so well and decided to throw a pass on 2nd and 12, from the OU 32, instead of keeping with the option to try and set up a potentially game-winning field goal. The result was disasterous as Oklahoma’s Kenneth Mann intercepted the pass and eliminated the Black Knight’s best opportunity for the upset.

Three Thoughts

Oklahoma didn’t win the point of attack on defense. Yes, some of it was schematics, because of the style of offense, but most of it was just not being able to make plays in the backfield. The Sooners have prided themselves on tackles for loss and backfield disruptions through the first month of the season but those types of plays were noticeably absent in this game.

The defense saved the day! Mike Stoops is typically the whipping boy when it comes to performances like this but there’s a good reason why he shouldn’t be today. While the offense was a no-show in the second half the defense made plays that should have won the game in regulation.

They forced Army into a punt on their final legitimate first half possession. Forced a 3-and-out to start the second half. Mann had the interception to save the game and then Motley with the pick to end the game in overtime. If just one of those defensive stops turns into points then the game never hits O.T..

The offense disappeared. Not to belabor the point here but Oklahoma’s offense really was a no-show over the final 30-plus minutes of the game. It was eerily reminiscent to the second half collapse in the Rose Bowl last season. Each time the defense gave the offense opportunity it was squandered. OU’s final four possessions of regulation ended like this.

Punt – 2nd quarter
Interception – 3rd quarter
Turnover on downs – 3rd quarter
Missed field goal – 4th quarter

That’s a lot of futility from a high-powered offense. Now, to their credit, as soon as the overtime hit the offense went back to humming and got things done.

All that said, an ugly win is better than a loss any day.

The Sooners are 4-0 and head back into conference play by hosting Baylor next week.

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